Wonderful Campaigns for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sarah Foulke, Senior Channel Marketing Specialist

Sarah Foulke, Senior Channel Marketing Specialist

Looking for a little inspiration to light up your marketing campaigns this festive season? We’ve asked a few industry experts to unwrap their secrets to success. From PPC ad strategy to creative twists on classic promotions, here are some tips that are sure to make your holiday marketing sparkle!

Adjust Ads in Real Time

“One of the most successful holiday campaigns I’ve witnessed involved a merchant pulling levers while monitoring the campaign in real time,” says Nick Winkler, Content Marketing Specialist at Shopify Plus. “He focused almost exclusively on which PPC ads were converting best and redirected ad spend to double down right then. He continued to monitor ad sets across ad platforms and adjusted accordingly throughout the day. Being able to ‘step on the gas’ in real time takes discipline but can significantly lift holiday sales for those willing to put in the extra work.”

Innovate on the Fly

“While we work with a lot of retailers, we won’t pretend to think our holiday digital programs are the only good ones out there,” says Blue Moon Digital’s Director of Strategy Katie Kelly. “A lot of brands are getting holiday right – especially those willing to innovate and try something new. Target is one such brand. During the 2016 season, they ran video advertising and content marketing programs to generate consumer interest before minds turned to offers. When consumer focus turned to promotions, they intrigued them with dedicated sale landing pages and options to sign up for updates, which had an added benefit of organic search ranking and growing the subscriber list. Finally, they leveraged business intelligence tools like Domo to stay on top of sales trends in real time and adjust their strategy on the fly.”

Give Promotions a Creative Twist

“One of the more successful campaigns we’ve seen from a retail client has to go to PajamaGram,” says Blue Acorn Chief Marketing Officer Chris Guerra. “They spun a creative twist on holiday promotions with a discount after the sale rather than up front. If a customer bought matching pajamas for their family, took a photo and sent it in, they would then receive a $50 discount. We thought that was pretty creative!”

Marketing on the Move

“Smart multichannel retailers will be leveraging the mobile trends and learning from the experiences of their peers in past holiday seasons,” says Brian Beck, SVP of Ecommerce and Omnichannel Strategy at Guidance. “One of our clients, a multichannel retailer of women’s apparel and accessories with over 300 stores, leveraged pre-planned holiday promotions in all new ways via digital channels last year. The company partnered with a large affiliate marketing company with a reach to millions of consumers through an installed mobile app. By taking advantage of mobile push notifications, our client was able to present its offers to consumers as they were entering the mall parking lot, when purchase intent was high. The results were impressive – more than $3 million in sales directly attributable to the campaign and thousands of new customers driven into stores. For merchants rolling into the holidays this year, it isn’t too late to look for partners like this to implement a similar program – but you need to act quickly!

Sweeten the Deal with UGC

“The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company pulled off a particularly sweet user-generated content holiday campaign,” says Moran Khoubian, Partner Marketing Manager at Yotpo. “They hold an annual Baking Day in early December to get customers excited for holiday season baking. In the lead-up to the big day, they asked followers across social channels to use Ghirardelli chocolate as the #SweetestSecret in their baking recipes and share photos of the results with that hashtag for a chance to be featured. Ghirardelli also collaborated with several food blogs and websites, including Food52, to help their contest reach more relevant audiences.

The campaign took the age-old tradition of sharing holiday recipes and transformed it into an exciting social movement, garnering more than a thousand posts and tons of enthusiasm and engagement around Ghirardelli products. The social proof of seeing others using Ghirardelli chocolate in baking recipes inspired bakers from all over to get into their kitchens and create Instagram-worthy desserts.”

Looking for more strategies for a successful season? Visit the Holiday Marketing Academy for all the latest!